Kelly Hoppen says we’re all using paint samples wrong – here’s why

'Listen to this lady, she knows what she's talking about'
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  • Picking the right paint can be totally overwhelming, as you discover that even white has a million shades. Warm, cold, matt or gloss – it’s easy to lose the plot when trying to decide.

    When queen of interiors Kelly Hoppen joined This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from her West London home, she shared some expert tips to make the process easier. ‘Listen to this lady,’ Schofe said, ‘she knows what she’s talking about.’

    The former Dragon and Great Interior Design Challenge host said that we often use paint samples wrong by painting them directly onto the wall.

    Related: The best white paint – how to pick the right shade for your walls


    Image credit: Dulux

    Holding up a range of grey paint colour samples, she said, ‘the problem is, people tend to paint it on a wall, but because the colour changes so much in your room depending on night or day. You actually need to paint it on a piece of paper, so that you can see the different tones you’re going to have when it’s night time and when it’s day time.’

    With a piece of paper you can move around the room, you can get a clearer sense of how the colour will look, plus you don’t end up with patches of samples to paint over.


    Image credit: Dulux

    ‘If you’ve got a lot of natural light then it’s brilliant to have something a little bit darker or more colourful. If you want that cosy feeling it doesn’t really matter.

    ‘But there are so many tricks that you can use with paint that are really important. For example, people tend to paint all architraves, doorways, skirting boards in different colours. The biggest expanse in your room is actually the walls, so that should all be one colour maybe with one feature wall.

    ‘Then you’re putting in your sofa, chairs, lighting – if the walls are more together, it’s a better base to start with,’ Kelly adds.

    Brace ground Dulux colour in the living room

    Image credit: Dulux

    Related: Kelly Hoppen’s genius idea for painting narrow hallways to make the space feel bigger

    Kelly Hoppen has also revealed she has a new book coming out, called Kelly Hoppen’s Essential Style Solutions for Every Home. On Instagram, she wrote, ‘Beyond excited to announce tomorrow my brand new book which will be available to pre-order. New format. New practical advice. Easy to implement.’

    So, next time you’re decorating, step away from the wall and paint on paper first.

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